Trukai project on target

Trukai Industries says it is on target to deliver the country’s largest ever rain-fed rice crop.

In a statement the company said it has made steady progress since 2015 to deliver the project.

In August 2017, Trukai announced that it was working with a local land group in the Markham valley, Morobe Province, to grow over 500 hectares of rain-fed rice.

Rice development manager, Humphrey Saese, said significant progress has been made to establish a long-term lease of land for the expansion while additional opportunities for the establishment of irrigated production are also being assessed.

He said whilst this is being progressed, over 200 hectares of rain-fed rice crop is currently planted, which will be ready for harvesting in early May this year.

Saese said considering the challenges and the unpredictability of weather patterns in the valley and landownership issues, this is quite impressive.

The site at Umi will have a collection point with grain storage, loading equipment and staff compound to service the current cropping as well as future growth and expansion of the industry.

Meantime, the Trukai Industries CEO, Greg Worthington-Eyre, said: “We have made significant progress to date and definitely on target to deliver PNG’s largest rice crop in history.”

The company predicts it will bring into production 2,000 hectares of rice in the next five years, which is equivalent to 8,000 tons of paddy grain to be stored and later transferred to the Lae factory for processing.

The company has put significant financial resources, technical and board support to ensure this project is successfully delivered.

Trukai Industries is also viewing expansion into high rainfall areas in the Huon Gulf electorate, especially around Nadzab, Munum and Situm areas, with pilot plots already being developed to test the suitability of rice farming.


Cedric Patjole